“Arts In The Community” Awards 2015

Arts Wisconsin seeks nominations for seventh annual Arts in the Community Awards
presented in partnership with the League of Wisconsin Municipalities
click here for information on Arts in the Community Awards sponsorship opportunities

Arts Wisconsin has opened nominations for the seventh annual Arts in the Community Awards.  These awards, presented by Arts Wisconsin in partnership with the League of Wisconsin Municipalities, honor communities and civic leaders around the state for championing the arts as integral to economic, educational and community vitality.  The deadline to submit nominations is August 15, 2015.  Award winners for 2015 will be selected by a panel of civic leaders from a highly competitive statewide pool of nominees.

The award winners will be recognized at the League of Municipalities’ annual conference on Thursday, October 29, 2015. The awardees will also participate in a conference panel discussion on the arts and creative economy in Wisconsin communities.

Special thanks to 2015 sponsors:

“The Arts in the Community Awards are a wonderful way to celebrate the visionary leadership in and for the arts in Wisconsin’s communities,” says Arts Wisconsin Executive Director Anne Katz.   “We’re proud to partner with the League of Municipalities to present these awards, and appreciative of the sponsors who make the awards possible.”

Nomination process:

An important note:  the Arts in the Community awards recognize civic leaders involved in education, business, tourism, government, politics and community issues, not people personally and/or professionally recognized as artists, performers, and arts organization administrators.   Although those people are of course more than deserving of recognition, these awards are meant to honor leadership that advances the arts in civic life.  Award recipients may well be (and usually are) directly involved in the arts in some way, but are more widely recognized personally and/or professionally in other aspects of civic life.

Award assessment criteria:  Awards are given on the basis of the following criteria:

o    Demonstrable, ongoing commitment to the arts by local and regional business and government leaders, agencies and organizations

o    Leadership on and championing of a program or project which demonstrates innovative and creative approaches to integrating the arts with civic strategies that has received broad and diverse community support.

Nomination procedure:  Organizations and government agencies may nominate an internal candidate. Additionally, individuals, nonprofit organizations, agencies or businesses may also nominate an elected official or a civic leader.

Each application must contain the following information:

o    Contact information for nominee and nominator (name, title, address, telephone number, fax number and email)

o    In a narrative of no more than 1000 words:

  • description of the program or project, including a discussion of its objectives, goals, outcomes, and supporters
  • an explanation of how the individual nominated, and the community, program or project, addresses each of the criteria outlined above.
  • Optional support materials (can be attached to the email nomination):
    –Print, online, and/or social media promotion/recognition (maximum five examples)
    –Additional program-related materials (maximum five examples)
    –Letters of endorsement (maximum three letters)

Selection process:  Arts Wisconsin staff will screen for eligibility based on criteria above. A review committee convened by Arts Wisconsin will be responsible for the final selection. Communities are eligible for only one award in a ten-year time period.

Please submit via email to Arts Wisconsin at info@artswisconsin.org by 5 pm on Monday, August 17, 2015.  Awardees will be announced by September 15, 2015.  Awardees will be recognized and will asked to participate in a panel on the arts in Wisconsin, at the League’s annual conference on October 29, 2015 in Milwaukee.

Previous Arts in the Community award winners are:


  • Circuit Court Judge Joseph Boles and Pierce County Criminal Justice Coordinating Council, based in Ellsworth, WI, for the development and implementation of a civic strategy to improve law enforcement training in de-escalating mental health crisis calls, using a variety of arts disciplines as teaching tools.
  • Reedsburg Mayor Dave Estes, Reedsburg City Administrator Ken Witt, and Reedsburg Chamber of Commerce Director Kristine Koenecke for support of Fermentation Fest – A Live Culture Convergence and the Farm/Art DTour. 


  • Rice Lake Main Street Program, Rice Lake
  • Sheboygan Performing Arts Foundation, Sheboygan


  • State Sen. Sheila Harsdorf, River Falls
  • State Sen. Bob Jauch, Poplar
  • Marlene Doerr Kreilkamp, Founder and former Director, SHARP Literacy, Milwaukee
  • Anastasia Shartin, Visual Arts Director, The Phipps Center for the Arts, Hudson


  • Bill Schierl, President, Arts Alliance of Portage County, Stevens Point
  • Jeff Scrima, former Mayor, Waukesha


  • Lois Smith,  founder of “Walls of Wittenberg,” Wittenberg
  • Julia Taylor, President, Greater Milwaukee Committee, Milwaukee
  • The Green Bay Neighborhood Leadership Council’s Beautification Committee, Green Bay
  • The Hometown Gazette newspaper, Clayton


  • Carol Kratchowill, Vice PResident,, Sauk County Art Association, Merrimac
  • Menomonie Mayor Dennis Cropp and former Dunn County Board member B. Jane Hoyt, on behalf of the Mabel Tainter Center for the Arts, Menomonie

For more information, contact Anne Katz at Arts Wisconsin, 608 255 8316 | akatz@artswisconsin.org.